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    I am pretty far into eating disorder recovery and would consider myself to be doing pretty well.

    my problem is that I get triggered really easily, and even though I won’t necessarily act out on them these triggers can ruin my day or even week putting my in a really bad mood.

    I specifically get triggered hearing about other people who have eating disorders and their treatment, it always makes me feel not sick enough or good enough and then it takes me into a whole tailspin of stuff. Try as I might to avoid it these things are not always avoidable.

    any advice how to stop obsessive ruminations that ruin my day?

    (i have family members with EDs so…)

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    Hi Balance123,

    I don’t have your specific struggle, but I do have OCD and BPD and can just imagine how your obsessions affect you and how hard they are! I almost feel relief from reading your post – not that I want you to chas v’shalom have a hard time, but that I feel the same way!

    I’m also on my healing path and also in a very vulnerable place. Whenever I hear something that triggers me, I get nervous, obsess and that feeds into more obsessive thoughts and judgments.

    So I don’t think we can stop them, but we can try to control them… meaning, that I’ll have those thoughts, but I can work with them.  I can acknowledge it, see it, then redirect my attention… Okay, I know this sounds very fluffy, but it’s the truth. Obsessive thoughts work off of fear/anxiety. And the more scared I feel of that thought/trigger, the more power it has over me. So what to do?

    I think that saying not to be scared of the thought is a tall order – at least for me (but it’s ideal)! So I would try to acknowledge the thought, maybe even challenge it (a CBT skill), and then redirect your attention by doing something else – a healthy distraction.

    And acceptance is huge too. If I can’t totally avoid the trigger, I might try to accept that it’s their – it’s a part of my reality for right now, and that’s okay. Again, the “trick” is to try and accept it on whatever scale you can. I can even give myself a little reframe/mantra like this:

    “I know I will probably get triggered/anxious/scared when this happens, AND, I know that I can deal with it/I will be okay/I will do [a distraction]….”

    Also, if you’d like, FearTools is a good app to record and challenge obsessive thoughts and CBT Companion is also a good one.

    So to review (bc this is very helpful for me too):

    1. We can’t stop them, but we can control them.
    2. Acknowledge it, redirect,
    3. Challenge it,
    4. Distract – a healthy one
    5. Acceptance that there will be triggers, but knowing that we can handle them.

    This is just what I’ve been taught…. I hope this helps you even a little!

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    I just read the last line of your post and realized that I didn’t address it.

    Could you explain to them how triggering it is when they say/mention certain things? Could you explain to them that you’re on your road to recovery, and hearing that isn’t helpful to you?

    Now, they may or may not listen/comply, but we can’t control that… I know 🙁

    So maybe you can remove yourself from the environment when they mention certain key/triggering words or maybe you can make a mental separation that that has nothing to do with you. Yes, it’s triggering, but in essence, it’s about them – not you – – if I’m understanding your post correctly. And maybe you can even repeat a mantra like the above one to help make a mental separation… I hope this helps you!

    Hi Balance123,

    It’s really incredible how far into recovery you are in, that takes so much courage and strength.

    As you continue on your recovery journey, it can be helpful to continuously assess your goals and as you hit them to make new recovery goals.  Right now, it sounds like you have made a lot of headway in managing the eating disorder.  Once you feel solid in this area,  a next goal might be about learning how to manage triggers.  With triggers we can either distract ourselves from the trigger, avoid the trigger, or learn how to face the trigger head on.  There’s no right or wrong here, it’s really a personal choice based on how much the trigger gets in our way with our health, functioning, and overall wellbeing.  Sometimes when we come across a trigger often, it can be helpful to learn techniques in facing and diffusing the trigger.  Therapists specialized in eating disorders can be really helpful with this.

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    Wow. I don’t really know how to answer your question, but the position you are in makes me want to write in. I can’t imagine having family members with eating disorders. That must be so so hard! I totally relate to comparing myself and how bad my ED compared with others and it can be so so hard to get out of it. I also don’t like hearing about others eating disorders and about their treatment for the same reason. I actually recently turned down an offer to connect with someone who has struggles similar to mine, for this reason- I was scared of the comparisons my mind might make, and how they will effect my recovery. So just saying- your really not alone in the whole sick enough thing. It is part of what defines ED’s.

    Please try to remember that no matter what, no matter when, you are enough. Your struggle and your sickness are also enough. I try telling myself these so that I can get well and be okay, because I don’t want to forever need to be sick, so that I feel ‘enough’, because it will never be enough for our ED’s. Stay strong.

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